Australasia

Why the ‘Hands Off’ campaign targeting sexual harassment on public transport misses the mark

Cuv 6f

This week, Victoria launched a campaign, “Hands Off”, in response to a 40% increase in reports of sexual assault on public transport. Bianca Fileborn The Conversation  The campaign – a joint initiative between Victoria Police, Crime Stoppers and Public Transport Victoria – will, over the next two weeks, publicly share images of alleged offenders online to encourage commuters to report them. This is accompanied by a new police unit that will focus on sexual offences on public transport. Hands Off’s ... Read More »

‘No longer for sale’: Foreigners banned from buying houses in New Zealand

Prim 1a

Overseas buyers will no longer be allowed to purchase existing homes in New Zealand, Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern declared as she unveiled a raft of policy deals made with her coalition… Yahoo7 News AFP The move to tackle soaring property prices was agreed during lengthy negotiations between the Labour Party leader and populist powerbroker Winston Peters to form a new government that also includes the Green… Ardern announced plans to slash immigration on Tuesday and focus on regional development and ... Read More »

Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

Dorot 1a

Assisted dying moved one step closer to reality in Victoria last week with the authorising bill passing the lower house with a comfortable 47-37 majority Stephen Duckett Throughout the debate, many MPs spoke of terrible personal experiences of the deaths of family members. The Conversation Such harrowing stories were also present in submissions to the parliamentary inquiry into end-of-life choices, that recommended an assisted dying regime leading to the… These terrible deaths were most often used to argue in favour ... Read More »

New Zealand’s incoming PM Jacinda Ardern signs coalition deal, outlines plans to go green

Jacinda Ardern 1a photo AP NIck Perry

New Zealand’s incoming Government is hoping to make the nation greener by planting 100 million trees each year, ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy, and spending more money on cycle ways and rail transport. AP/ABC Jacinda Ardern, who takes over as prime minister this week, on Tuesday outlined agreements her Labour Party reached with other political parties joining them in the new Government. In addition to the environmental initiatives, Ms Ardern also outlined plans to raise the ... Read More »

Cambodian refugee deal a ‘bad joke’, says former foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans

Gure 4d

The $55 million deal to resettle refugees in Cambodia is a “joke in bad taste” that has undermined Australia’s diplomatic influence, says former Labor foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans. Liam Cochrane ABC Mr Evans said Australian diplomacy has been hobbled by the refugee deal at a time when something needs to be done to address Cambodia’s slide into authoritarianism. The deal with Cambodia was struck three years ago under then immigration minister Scott Morrison, but at last count, just three ... Read More »

Canberra Death Talking Evening aims to remove stigma from dying

Taus 1a

Philippa Haas would like her remains scattered into the sea. Judith Barnes wants her ashes spread over a nice spot in Jugiong. Emily Baker  The pair don’t want to die – but they’re happy to talk about what should happen when they do. The Canberra Times “I find death as exciting as birth,” Ms Barnes, an “end-of-life doula”, said. “It’s the next big thing. Birth’s the first big thing, death’s the next big thing, and there’s all this wonderful circus ... Read More »

Fascists take power in Austria. Could they do the same in Australia?

Ceb 2b

Heinz-Christian Strache, a neo-Nazi in his youth and now the besuited leader of Europe’s most successful fascist party, is set to become Austria’s deputy prime minister. Rick Kuhn The election on October 15 tipped out the coalition between the Socialists and the conservative People’s Party. The Canberra Times  A new coalition between the racist neoliberals of the People’s Party and Strache’s Freedom Party is being negotiated. With the Greens’ failure to tally the 4 per cent needed to gain any ... Read More »

High court proves we have free speech against environmental wreckers

Anar 2b

Adani and the loggers should watch out – we have a right to peaceful protest to protect our environment Bob Brown The Guardian The high court has drawn a line in the sand against laws which burden the right of Australians to peaceful protest. The court made no judgement on Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman’s decision to flatten the Lapoinya state forest in northwest Tasmania against the wishes of the local community. But it struck down his Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) ... Read More »

How conversation can solve contemporary issues

Wem 1a

Premium content Modern philosophers dissect the ‘racist statue’ debate and focus on the very real and divisive issue which Australians face: our colonial past. * Andrea Simpson In August, the issue of Australia’s colonial past hit boiling point when a statue of Captain Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park was defaced. ArtsHub Australia ‘Change the date’ and ‘no pride in genocide’ were spray-painted across the monument. Statues of Governor Macquarie and Queen Victoria were also graffiitied. <img src=’//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5201223&Ver=2′ height=’0′ width=’0′ style=’display:none; ... Read More »

The Church’s child abuse record doesn’t disqualify it from opposing same-sex marriage

Gan 1a

Author Anna Krien’s recent condemnation of the church’s apparent hypocrisy (The Age, 17/10) in arguing that heterosexual marriage is best for children while being guilty of failing to address historical child abuse appears convincing Kevin Donnelly Brisbane Times A closer reading, though, reveals it for what it is. While Krien’s argument is emotionally persuasive she fails to provide a rational argument linking the two. Yes, the church clearly opposes same-sex marriage but to simply dismiss its arguments because of its ... Read More »

Sex harassment report author was driven from the CFA by bullies

Karau 3c

When word began to spread that she was inquiring into bullying, harassment and sexual assault at the Country Fire Authority, Professor Caroline Taylor began to sense something was terribly… Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker The Age Employees, both male and female, began calling her seeking guarantees that they could tell their stories without facing retribution. Several seemed… Taylor, a senior CFA advisor, assured these staff they could trust her. She was a long-time researcher in these issues – a foundation chair of ... Read More »

Costello wants govt to run workers’ super

PeC 2b

The Turnbull government won’t say if it backs a call for it to assume control of billions of dollars in workers’ compulsory superannuation contributions now being managed by banks and industry funds Australian Associated Press Herald Sun Former treasurer Peter Costello is critical of the way default funds are being run and wants a new government agency to instead invest the money About $2.3 trillion in workers’ super is sitting in private accounts as part of the former Keating government’s ... Read More »

National Firearms Non-Agreement: Should kids have ‘permits’, ‘licences’ or no guns at all?

Pest 5e

Not one state government is prepared to say when it will fully comply with post-Port Arthur reforms, according to an ABC survey of state and territory ministers. By political reporter Jackson Gothe-Snape  ABC Instead many have disagreed with a report from University of Sydney academic Associate Professor Philip Alpers, which sets out areas where each state laws fall short of the National Firearms Agreement. This agreement, widely known as the NFA, sets out minimum gun regulations in areas such as ... Read More »

Police gun data shows extent of private arsenals in suburban Australia

Pelleto 2b

Private gun owners are stockpiling arsenals of more than 300 firearms in suburban homes in some parts of the country, according to new data obtained by the Greens. Exclusive by the National Reporting Team’s Lorna Knowles and Alison Branley ABC The trend is thought to be driving an overall increase in gun ownership nationally. Gun-control advocates say the private caches are “honeypots for criminals”, and also pose a public safety risk if their owners become mentally unstable. The most comprehensive ... Read More »

George Brandis slaps down Peter Dutton over ‘un-Australian’ lawyers attack

Verk 1a

Australia’s first law officer has delivered a sharp rebuke to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and reminded government ministers of the need to respect the rule of law and authority of the courts In a Sunday night speech to the International Bar Association in Sydney that initially flew under-the-radar, Attorney-General George Brandis delivered a full-throated defence of the rule of law and the legal profession. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald While he did not name Mr Dutton, Senator Brandis’ comments have been interpreted as a repudiation of his cabinet colleague, who ... Read More »

Would these people get help to die under Victoria’s proposed euthanasia laws?

Murk 1a

Would these people get help toIt could soon be legal to help some terminally ill Victorians die Our state MPs are expected to hold a conscience vote in mid-October on whether to allow voluntary assisted dying in certain circumstances. The Age The proposed laws are, in part, based on the findings of an independent panel of medical experts on when people should be given the right to die. We asked the panel’s chair, Professor Brian Owler, what would happen in six hypothetical ... Read More »